Parliament voted in favour of enacting the Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2021

Last month, Parliament voted in favour of enacting the Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2021.Now signed into law as an Act, this legislation will provide for the regulation of an entire supply chain surrounding the lucrative global industry that is medicinal cannabis.

Dr. John Cortes, who is the Minister for Public Health, and the one responsible for bringing the Bill to the House, said; "we are of the view that this new industry, comprehensively regulated to the highest standards, could well create an innovative and thriving sector of Gibraltar’s economy that could lead to quality employment and export opportunities to different jurisdictions", and that "it is vital that we remain open to such new opportunities to maintain our economic growth"

The above is not without merit. Indeed, a medicinal cannabis industry in Gibraltar would provide for opportunities such as cultivation, extraction, formulation, manufacturing, R&D, import, export, etc., all of which are a world of their own when it comes to undertaking these operations.

Dr. Cortes also pointed out that only the most "reputable of businesses" would be granted a license, and that these business would have to conduct their operations in strict accordance with regulations. However, this begs the question; what exactly will these regulations entail? The Act gives general guidelines on what the framework surrounding the regulation of this industry will look like, but there is, as yet, no Bill published for what these specific regulations will look like.

Typically, jurisdictions implementing medicinal cannabis will publish regulations surrounding Standards and Compliance, which includes topics such as traceability (seed to sale), permitted cultivation practices, extraction methods, water source testing, drying, sanitation, storage, general SOPs, etc., to name a select few from what is an extensive list. This will, and no doubt, has to be implemented before any governing body begins the process of accepting applications for any type of related activity. Our guess is that the Cannabis Commission, which has yet to be established, will be the authority responsible for handling these applications. The hope is that the appointed individuals will have thorough knowledge of the sector, so that they are able to properly understand and manage the needs of potential licensees wishing to operate in this space.

If you or your business are contemplating a future move into the medicinal cannabis sector in Gibraltar, get in touch with us via our website

We can help you with all matters related to the industry, from regulatory compliance, to operational implementation.

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